The Unique Nutritional Benefits of Açai
Here is a breakdown of some of the nutritional benefits of consuming acai. If you haven’t heard of acai, it is a berry that grows on the top of a palm tree in the Amazon Rainforest. Anywhere outside of the Amazon, acai is typically consumed as a frozen puree because it oxidizes quickly after harvesting. Therefore, it must be produced within a 24 hour period and frozen. Acai has a unique exotic flavor, sometimes referred to as a mixture of berries and chocolate.
- In brief:
Acai fruit contains essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) plus oleic acid (Omega-9) which are good for lowering Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Acai berries also contain high levels of calcium, Vitamin E and phosphorous, and high concentrations of polyphenols making it a good antioxidant.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
A polyunsaturated fatty acid found in fish that may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Omega-3 is an ‘essential fatty acid’ that cannot be manufactured by the human body and must be ingested. They are polyunsaturated fats that are essential to the proper development and functioning of the brain, reproductive systems, and metabolism, as well as helping maintain the health of skin and hair. High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils, hemp oil, flax seeds, and lesser quantities are found in meats.
- Omega-6 fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fats essential to the proper development and functioning of the brain, reproductive systems, and metabolism, as well as helping maintain the health of skin and hair. The highest concentrations of this polyunsaturated fat are found in soy, wheat, rice, hemp oils, grapeseed oil, and many nuts and seeds. Omega-6 fatty acids are ‘essential fatty acids’ that cannot be manufactured by the human body and must be ingested.
- Omega-9 fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil, acai fruit, peanuts, and avocados. Also called oleic acid. Omega-9 is NOT an ‘essential fatty acid’ meaning that it can be manufactured by the human body in limited quantities, unlike Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It is used by the body to fight inflammation, to reduce atherosclerosis, blood sugar balance, and improved functioning of the immune system.
Acai is a synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health. The fatty acid content in açaí resembles that of olive oil and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid. Oleic acid is important for a number of reasons. It helps omega-3 fish oils penetrate the cell membrane; together they help make cell membranes more supple. By keeping the cell membrane supple, all hormones, neurotransmitters, and insulin receptors function more efficiently. This is particularly important because high insulin levels create an inflammatory state, and we know, inflammation causes aging.
The most common of the phenolic compounds found in plants – their skins, seeds, and flesh. Polyphenols provide color and flavor, as well as acting as antioxidants and neutralizing free radicals in the bloodstream.
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals that leads to a chain reaction that can damage the cells of an organism. When free radicals accumulate, they may cause a state known as oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
A blue, purple, or red, accessory pigment found in plants. Anthocyanins are water-soluble glucosides. Compare carotenoid. “Anthocyanin” literally means “blue plant,” and as you can imagine are found in the darker berries such as acai fruit, blueberry, and the blackberry. They are also found in red wine and raspberries – foods and drinks which are commonly recommended by health professionals for their beneficial effects (sometimes controversially, as in the case of red wine). They are a subclass of flavonoids, that are thought to reduce the risk of cancer by reducing the number of free radicals in the body.
The best way to add acai to your diet is to make an acai bowl or acai smoothie. You will absolutely love it and feel energized. A great time to have acai is after a workout. It is refreshing and satisfying. There is no doubt that you will get addicted to the taste and energy boost you will get from acai. You can buy acai online on our website at www.nativoacai.com.